Legal Articles

The information you obtain on the League’s website is general in nature and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as and should not be construed as legal advice. Moreover, it is not a substitute for legal advice. While the League’s attorneys are a general resource for our member municipalities, we do not represent any municipalities. Please consult your municipal attorney for matters specifically pertaining to your municipality.

  1. Panhandling Ordinances after Reed and Norton

    Licensing/Regulation 399, Ordinances/Resolutions 511: Legal comment discussing the constitutionality of panhandling ordinances in the wake of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S.Ct. 2218 (2015) and Norton v. City of Springfield, 806 F.3d 411 (7th Cir. 2015). Maria Davis, The Municipality, March 2019
  2. Nuisance Concerts Separate Events

    Liability 434, Nuisances 160: Concerts constituting a nuisance are considered separate events for purposes of the 120-day notice timeline in Wisconsin Statute § 893.80(1d). Yacht Club at Sister Bay Condo Assn., Inc. v. Village of Sister Bay, 2019 WI 4. Maria Davis, The Municipality, March 2019
  3. Wisconsin Cities Have Class!

    Municipal Corporations 59: Provides overview of Wis. Stat. sec. 62.05 which classifies cities as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th class cities based on population as well as procedure for altering classification and some differences between the different classes. Claire Silverman, The Municipality, March, 2019
  4. FRSA Preempts Ordinance Prohibiting Trains from Obstructing RR Crossings

    The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently held that the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) and regulations promulgated pursuant to that act preempt a City of Weyauwega ordinance prohibiting any train from obstructing, for more than 10 minutes. . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality December 2018
  5. Local Government Emergency Powers

    Is your municipality prepared to deal with an emergency? Recent disasters in communities across the state, like flooding and explosions, highlight the importance of being prepared to cope with local emergencies. Claire Silverman, the Municipality December 2018
  6. Municipal Publication Requirements

    This article provides a basic overview of municipal publication requirements and addresses common questions that arise with regard to those requirements. Claire Silverman, the Municipality November 2018
  7. Kenosha Program "Gets the Lead Out!"

    There has been a surge in public awareness of the risks of lead exposure in drinking water. Exposure to lead has been linked to adverse health effects in infants, young children, and pregnant women, and is potentially harmful to adults. St. Peter, Kobza and Walker Smith November 2018
  8. A Silent Revolution of Agency Review

    Municipalities frequently interact with state and federal agencies, and they sometimes need courts to review whether an agency decision is arbitrary, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise contrary to law. Barry J. Blonien, the Municipality October 2018
  9. Supreme Court Review for States and Local Governments 2018

    The State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) files Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Big Seven national organizations* representing state and local governments. Big Cases In South Dakota v. Wayfair** the Supreme Court ruled . . . Lisa Soronen the Municipality September 2018
  10. Removal of Officers: Governing Body Procedures and the Recall Procedure

    Can a governing body remove a member who repeatedly fails to show up for meetings? What about a member who always shows up but seems to focus all his or her energy on creating dissent? What about a member who reveals information discussed in closed . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality August 2018
  11. Determining the Residency of Municipal Officers

    At the time they are elected, members of municipal governing bodies and other local elected officers must be resident electors of the municipality. Common council members representing aldermanic districts must not only reside within the city . . . Claire Silverman, the Municipality July 2018
  12. Special Assessments--A Common Way to Recover Costs of Public Improvements

    Several months ago a state legislator called me into his office to discuss a question he had received from a constituent. The constituent had called to complain about the city charging her a special assessment of over $1,000 for sidewalk and curb . . . Curt Witynski in July 2018 the Municipality
  13. Managing the Risks of Tax Increment Financing

    Tax increment financing (“TIF”) is a local economic development tool that can be an essential ingredient in making a development project happen. However, financing a development project can expose a municipality and its taxpayers to significant . . . Matthew Dregne, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP July 2018
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